The Weekend Leader - On her own

Not one to rest on family laurels

Fehmida Zakeer   |   Chennai


Vol 1 | Issue 10

She is the daughter-in-law of M K Stalin, the Deputy Chief Minister of the state, wife of the man behind the production behemoth Red Giant movies, whose films have gone on to become major hits, but Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi is not one to rest on her family laurels. She has earned a name for herself in varied fields as a keen champion of environment protection, the head of the lifestyle magazine ‘Inbox 1305’, a scriptwriter, and a director in the making, just to mention a few.

As brand ambassador for Exnora Chennai, a non-governmental organisation, Kiruthiga found the perfect forum to actively participate in programs to save the environment, an issue close to her heart. “Exnora has given me a platform to voice out my fears and initiate movements. The organisation is doing a great job of educating people about environment issues. They have launched many campaigns and ideas to reduce carbon emission which is very heartening.”

Kiruthiga’s association with environmental causes has brought the much needed public attention to pressing issues 

“Awareness will help us bring down the impact of environmental crises to a great extent,” she says. According to her, channelizing efforts towards environment awareness and conservation is more than an interest. “It’s rather my duty and everyone's to sit up and take notice of the depleting resources and the immediate threats we face because of global warming. All of us need to be aware that our children's future might greatly be affected by all this.”

Talking about the recent lights out campaign organised by Exnora on 10 October 2010 she says, “After reading about our campaign 20 students from Sirgazhi, a small town near Kumbakonam, made 50 postcards each and mailed it to people urging them to follow the campaign.” Part of this campaign also involved going to a slum with student volunteers, cleaning it up and educating the people about the harm in using plastics. The team presented the dwellers with tulsi plants and educated them about the role played by the plant in absorbing carbon dioxide from the air. “We presented them with CFL bulbs and informed them that these bulbs would cut down electricity consumption by 70%.”

M B Nirmal, the founder of Exnora in Chennai says, “Kiruthiga brought a lot of attention to the campaign and this made our job much easier. People were more receptive and her active involvement helped us to spread the message to a wide audience.”

Kiruthiga’s efforts to bring about an awareness of the environment issues do not stop with her ambassadorship at Exnora. As head of the magazine Inbox1305, she holds contests and features articles highlighting sensitive environmental issues.

Not surprisingly Kiruthiga is also a keen writer who has put her pen to fashion out scripts focussing on social issues. She is credited with writing the script for a series of short films on the subject of AIDS. “The idea was to eliminate the stigma that the AIDS affected people face and since we needed the publicity we roped in director Mysskin and Sasikumar. This year we're planning an art exhibition across India and the proceeds will go to the victims.”

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